NHL Picks: Montreal Canadiens @ Boston Bruins 10/27/11
The Canadiens have to be frustrated as could be right now. They are just 1-5-2 and at the bottom of the Northeast Division, and now, they have to embark on a horribly difficult set of games which could put them in a tumultuous spot early in the campaign. On Wednesday, they have to take on the Philadelphia Flyers, one of the best teams in hockey before these two games with the champs, and then it’s back on the road for four of the first five games in November. The team could look up and be 15 points back by the end of that stretch, and that’s the type of deficit that teams just can’t close over the course of even three quarters of the season in most cases. The problem has been the goaltending and defense. This unit is allowing 3.1 goals per game in spite of the fact that it ranks No. 7 in shots allowed. Carey Price, considered one of the top up and coming net minders in this league, only has that one win to show for his season’s work, and he has a dreadful save percentage by his standard of .892.
What the champs are finding out is that it is hard to be at the top of the mountain. They haven’t strung two wins together since the end of the Stanley Cup Finals last year, and that probably isn’t changing any time in the near future. This is the end of a four game home stand which has already seen the team lose to the San Jose Sharks and the Carolina Hurricanes, and that already signals the second time this year that the offense has gone flat in a home stretch. Right at the start of the season, the team was shut out by the Colorado Avalanche at home, and the Philadelphia Flyers held it to a single goal in the first game of the season. The offense has had a total power outage. Only Tyler Seguin has more than six points for this team, and he probably isn’t the man that is going to be counted on to lead this team in points this year. Zdeno Chara, one of the top defensemen in the league has just three points, which Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci only have a goal apiece to show for their work this year.
Montreal Canadiens @ Boston Bruins Pick: Still, the site of the TD Garden has to make the Canadiens boil. The last time these two met up, the Bruins were bouncing the Habs out of the playoffs with a 4-3 overtime victory in Game 7 of their playoff series. Expect this one to be intense from the get go, but when push comes to shove, we’ll give Boston the slight edge.
NHL Pick: Boston Bruins
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